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Riverboat Title Credit

NBC Network
1959 - 1961
60 Minutes

Darren McGavin starred as Captain Grey Holden, the owner and operator the Enterprise, a 100-foot stern-wheeler steamboat that carried passengers and freight up an down the Mississippi, Missouri and Ohio Rivers of the 1840s. Holden won the boat in a poker game. 

Others onboard for the ride down the river included:

  • Burt Reynolds as Ben Frazer, an orphaned river rat who grew up on the River to become boat pilot for the Enterprise.
  • Noah Berry, Jr. as Bill Blake, who became a forty-nine percent partner with Captain Holden. Ben left when Bill came aboard the Enterprise.
  • Dick Wessel as Carney Kohler, a crew member.
  • Jack Lambert as Joshua Walcek, the first mate.
  • William D. Gordon as Travis, a drew member
  • Michael McGreevey as Jimmy 'Chip' Kessler, a cabin boy.
  • John Mitchum as Pickalong, the ballad singing cook.
  • Bart Patton as Terry Blake, the boat pilot who replaced Ben.

 Darren McGavin and Burt Reynolds - RIVERBOAT
Captain Holden and Pilot Ben Frazer

Listen to Theme Music


TRIVIA NOTE: Burt Reynolds got his first continuing TV role on the series as Ben Frazer.

"The Riverboat Theme" was composed by Elmer Bernstein.

Obituaries: Darren McGavin: 02/25/2006; Noah Beery, Jr.: 11/01/1994; Dick Wessel: 04/20/1965; Jack Lambert: 02/18/2002; William D. Gordon: 08/12/1991; John Mitchum: 11/29/2001.

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